Hobbiton 2.0, 20 years on: Authenticity and Immersive Themed Space

Robert Peaslee, Robert Schweizer, Stephanie Williams

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

This paper considers the nature of Hobbiton, the village featured in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies and located in the community of Matamata, Aotearoa New Zealand. Hobbiton, a screen tourism site offered as both a landscape and an “authentic” relic of film production, is maintained, packaged, and deployed to engage affective responses from those who visit and interact with it. Presenting a longitudinal case study derived from more than thirty experiences onsite from 2006-2019, we engage with Hobbiton’s two iterations: originally constructed in 1999, the location started receiving tourists in 2002 and by 2004 was a site of significant visitor interest despite being only partially recognizable. The location was then closed for several weeks in 2010 and reconstructed for the Hobbit films, this time with the intention that it would serve as a resplendent, fully interactive simulacrum of the fictional village portrayed in the films, complete with a functional Green Dragon pub.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHobbiton 2.0, 20 years on: Authenticity and Immersive Themed Space
PublisherRoutledge
Pages217-237
ISBN (Print)9781032355962
StatePublished - Jan 2023

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